Behind Left


title: Behind Left
year: 1997
body of work: “Sentiment and Vagrancy”
series: n/a
medium: Ink Jet print on Arches mounted on aluminum
size: 30″ h x 26.25″ w
edition size: 1 and 2 AP
collections: Judelson
availability: 2 AP

artist brief:

The prints in this series are 35 mm photos which are digitized (scanned), and then have a detail of their color duplicated and spilled outside of the pictures edges to create a surrounding color field. They are then reprinted with ink jet technology on water color paper, mounted full frame on a thin sheet of aluminum and hung flush to the wall. Later manifestations are Ink Jet prints framed and face mounted to matte Plexiglas. “Top Down” and “Behind Left” have pictures taken from my own decent down a staircase. The first shot is my view down on to a person crouched under a phone booth shell closing a violin case. The curves of the body, violin case, and phone booth mimic one another ambiguating the forms and the distances between them, as the picture field is also ambiguated from a color field spilling in and out of the floor tiles in the background of the photo image. The next photo was taken when I reached the bottom of the staircase and moved behind the person at the phone. The person is now using the phone and resting her hand on her hip. This view clarifies what is in the photo but in its absorptive and dynamic posture, the figure resurfaces with its surroundings as another set of distracting impulses. The titles both refer to my and the viewers coordinates in relation to the figure, and thus encourages a reading of an ensemble in space rather than the reading of a subject matter.

Regarding the body of work:

A common thread which appears through all the work in “Sentiment and Vagrancy” seems to be a kind of phantom chasing. That is the work seems to conjure effects that occur between elements like colors, colors and lines, flat and illusionistic picture space, sentiment and formalism, memory and retinal impact, movement and intention – effects that are not attributed to any one thing but float between two or more tendencies. In brief, the pictures I make utilize: inseparable yet incommensurable parts like illusionistic or photographic space and color fields, resonance’s in color relationships, and untraceable mark making patterns that cause spatial disturbances. When using photography, travel creates the momentum for taking pictures providing subject and circumstance in a continual stream. I look through photos that I had taken in travel or while wandering around, with an interest in encouraging what is unfamiliar about any given image. I approach this task by pushing appearances in various directions within each picture using a computer and Ink Jet printing, and by playing off the relations which arise between images. I choose photos that relate to one another through numerous formal considerations (color, compositions, effects…), and insight tangents (amplify detail within the pictures). A shadow, light source, or sometimes an object in the space of a picture I am working with will have a detail of its color duplicated and spilled outside of the pictures edges to create a color field that comes out of, goes around, and back into the image in a continuous loop. Pigment and picture are combined in a flip flopping of implied depths and solid colors, at once continuous and discontinuous, inseparable and incommensurable. Once such material relationships are activated, I found pictorial content strayed from subject matter, continually re-focusing on the gap between picture and representation, formalism and sentiment since sensory born relations in appearance interfered with the tendency of prioritizing communication. The travel photos tell nothing to clarify a sight but utilize and escalate the strangeness of the sight by its very appearances. The emotion or feel that is instigated by the pictures is present yet un-anchored by communication due to distracting material investments. In other words, the pictures at once appeal to ones feelings via the senses, while they simultaneously offer enough physical distraction for the senses to ambiguate the feelings elicited. This set of observations inspired the title “Sentiment and Vagrancy”. – 1996.

Kevin Hanley All rights Reserved. Reproduction by permission of artist only.